Wind power capacity has increased substantially over the past decade. This growth in capacity is partially attributable to the policies that federal and state governments have enacted to help developers overcome the economic barriers to building commercial-scale wind facilities. However, the existing economic policies have a limited ability to continue to incentivize development of new wind power capacity. Therefore, if wind power capacity is going to continue to grow so that wind power eventually supplies enough electricity to meet a significant amount of the United States' energy needs, states need to supplement the economic policies with other, noneconomic policies. Specifically, states should create a recognized property right in wind that is severable and alienable. Currently, a wind power project developer takes on several risks at the beginning of a wind power project. One of the risks is that someone will build upwind of the developer's site, thereby obstructing the flow of wind to the turbines and making the whole project less efficient and less economical. Providing the developer with a recognized property right in wind is one way to limit the risk that wind power developers take on at the outset of a project. Limiting the risk will lead to increased wind power development by decreasing the cost of the project. Decreasing the project cost in turn reduces the cost of wind power, which makes wind power a more competitive source of electricity.
Emily J. Wasserman,
I'll Huff and I'll Puff and I'll Blow Your House Down: The Argument for the Ability to Purchase Your Neighbor's Wind,
U. Colo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholar.law.colorado.edu/lawreview/vol84/iss3/7